In opposing ways these similarly titled books offer many insights into the eighteenth-century novel; in combination, they exemplify the best current methods of studying the history of literary genres. Leah Orr’s survey of the fiction published in England between 1690 and 1730—468 titles, including reprints of earlier works and translations of foreign works—challenges conclusions about “the novel” that draw on a highly selective set of examples. Joseph Drury’s claim that eighteenth-century novelists conceived of their works as narrative machines is thus open to question, depending as it does on four primary examples: Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, and Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho. Yet Orr’s otherwise persuasive argument—“booksellers published what they believed would sell, and . . . exerted far greater influence on the development of fiction than did individual...
Novel Ventures: Fiction and Print Culture in England, 1690–1730
Novel Machines: Technology and Narrative Form in Enlightenment Britain
Juliet Shields; Novel Ventures: Fiction and Print Culture in England, 1690–1730
Novel Machines: Technology and Narrative Form in Enlightenment Britain. Modern Language Quarterly 1 March 2019; 80 (1): 102–105. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-7247334
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